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The European Court of Justice Advisor Said Uber is a Transport Company

UBER Transportation Services

In a preliminary opinion, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said Uber is a transport company, meaning it should be covered by the laws that govern taxis, minicabs and other similar services.

The  non-binding decision from Maciej Szpunar, the advocate general to the court, says the firm is “undoubtedly” a transport firm and “the service offered by Uber cannot be classified as an ‘information society service.” Instead, he added the service amounts to the organization and management of a comprehensive system for on-demand urban transport.

Subsequently, “the service offered by the Uber platform must be classified as a ‘service in the field of transport'”. If classified as such, Uber would fall under and abide by the rules and regulations of each EU country that cover how taxis and minicabs should operate.

Uber is currently used in 21 European countries and has suffered legal set backs in individual courts. In June 2016, French judges slapped the firm with a £625,500 fine for its UberPop service using unlicensed drivers.

Later this year, the ECJ will issue its final decision on the case, which will replace Szpunar’s opinion. In many cases, the ECJ follows the preceding opinion but it is also possible the court will rule in Uber’s favor. If the full decision agrees with the opinion, it could cause expansion headaches for Uber across the continent.

The change would not necessarily mean Uber has to change its business model, nor would it affect all of the European countries it operates in as, in many cases, the company already complies with transport laws. The original case in front of the ECJ stems from a 2014 complaint by a Spanish taxi firm that argued Uber’s operation wasn’t fair due to it not having to comply with the same laws.

Uber says it is waiting for the final decision to be issued later this year but said “being considered a transportation company would not change the way we are regulated in most EU countries as that is already the situation today”.

“It will, however, undermine the much-needed reform of outdated laws which prevent millions of Europeans from accessing a reliable ride at the tap of a button,” added an Uber spokesperson.”

Read full article here 

Jon Ouazdi
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TransGates Limousine